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Schools of Buddhism => Mahayana => Topic started by: Dharma Flower on November 20, 2018, 06:23:54 pm

Title: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: Dharma Flower on November 20, 2018, 06:23:54 pm
In his Kyogyoshinsho, Shinran quoted Shandao as saying "There is no Buddha apart from the mind." Please compare this to the following words of Rinzai Master Bassui Tokusho:

Quote
The Mind which the Buddhas realized in their enlightenment is the Mind of all sentient beings. The substance of this Mind is pure, harmonizing with its surroundings. In a woman’s body it has no female form, in a man’s body it has no appearance of male. It is not mean even in the body of the lowly, nor is it imposing in the body of the noble. Like boundless space, it hasn’t a particle of color. The physical world can be destroyed, but formless, colorless space is indestructible.

This Mind, like space, is all-embracing. It does not come into existence with the creation of our body, nor does it perish with its disintegration. Though invisible, it suffuses our body, and every single act of seeing, hearing, smelling, speaking, or moving the hands and legs is simply the activity of this Mind.

Whoever searches for Buddha and Truth outside this Mind is deluded; whoever directly perceives that his intrinsic nature is precisely that of a Buddha is himself a Buddha. A Buddha has never existed who has not realized this Mind, and every last being within the Six Realms of Existence is perfectly endowed with it. The statement from a sutra “In Buddha there is no discrimination” confirms this.

Everyone who has realized this Mind, attaining to Buddhahood, wants to make it known to mankind. But men, clinging stupidly to superficial forms, find it hard to believe in this purposeless Dharma-kaya, this pure, true Buddha.

To give it a name Buddhas resort to such metaphors as “Treasure Gem of Free Will,” “Great Path,” “Amitabha Buddha,’” “Buddha of Supreme Knowledge,” “Jizo,” “Kannon,” “Fugen,” “One’s Face before one’s parents were born.” The Bodhisattva Jizo is the guide through the Six Realms of Existence, he being the symbol of the power which controls the six senses.

Every epithet of a Buddha or a Bodhisattva is simply a different designation for the One-mind. If one believes in his own Buddha-mind, it is the same as believing in all Buddhas. Thus in a sutra we read: “The Three Worlds are but One-mind; outside this Mind nothing exists. Mind, Buddha, and sentient beings are One, they are not to be differentiated.” …

Everyone’s Original-nature is not less than Buddha. But since men doubt this and search for Buddha and Truth outside their Mind, they fail to attain enlightenment, being helplessly driven within cycles of birth-and-death, entangled in karma both good and bad.

The source of all karma bondage is delusion, i.e., the thoughts, feelings, and perceptions (stemming from ignorance). Rid yourself of them and you are emancipated. Just as ash covering a charcoal fire is dispersed when the fire is fanned, so these delusions vanish once you realize your Self-nature.
https://sites.google.com/site/esabsnichtenglisch/bassui-tokusho-the-letters?tmpl=%2Fsystem%2Fapp%2Ftemplates%2Fprint%2F&showPrintDialog=1
Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: Dairy Lama on November 21, 2018, 03:54:12 am
In his Kyogyoshinsho, Shinran quoted Shandao as saying "There is no Buddha apart from the mind." Please compare this to the following words of Rinzai Master Bassui Tokusho:

Quote
This Mind, like space, is all-embracing. It does not come into existence with the creation of our body, nor does it perish with its disintegration. Though invisible, it suffuses our body, and every single act of seeing, hearing, smelling, speaking, or moving the hands and legs is simply the activity of this Mind.

"Mind" here sounds rather like Atman/Brahman, or perhaps the Tao?  Is that the idea?
Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: zafrogzen on November 21, 2018, 11:50:30 am
Bassui was playing with mud and water (the title of his collected talks). Anytime concepts and words are applied to something beyond concepts and words there are bound to be misunderstandings. It’s like trying to wash off dirt with muddy water.

Bassui's practice was assiduous zazen (meditation) over many decades using the classic Hua tou "Who hears?" from the Surangama Sutra.

An intellectual understanding of the Mind Bassui refers to is of little use and can actually be a hindrance if not accompanied by serious zazen. Connecting the concept to the image of a deity is even more distracting.


Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: stillpointdancer on November 22, 2018, 04:46:24 am
Interesting. I think that our 'Original-nature' is there and has always been since we evolved consciousness. We lose it as the process of internalising the prevailing cultural definitions of reality takes over. It is still there, but needs the hard work that zafrogzen spoke about to bring it to the fore. Merely knowing that it's somewhere buried in our minds isn't enough.
Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: Dharma Flower on November 22, 2018, 12:25:39 pm
Shinran Shonin would agree with the following words of Master Bassui Tokusho:

Quote
Everyone who has realized this Mind, attaining to Buddhahood, wants to make it known to mankind. But men, clinging stupidly to superficial forms, find it hard to believe in this purposeless Dharma-kaya, this pure, true Buddha.

To give it a name Buddhas resort to such metaphors as “Treasure Gem of Free Will,” “Great Path,” “Amitabha Buddha,’” “Buddha of Supreme Knowledge,” “Jizo,” “Kannon,” “Fugen,” “One’s Face before one’s parents were born.” The Bodhisattva Jizo is the guide through the Six Realms of Existence, he being the symbol of the power which controls the six senses.

Every epithet of a Buddha or a Bodhisattva is simply a different designation for the One-mind.
https://sites.google.com/site/esabsnichtenglisch/bassui-tokusho-the-letters?tmpl=%2Fsystem%2Fapp%2Ftemplates%2Fprint%2F&showPrintDialog=1 (https://sites.google.com/site/esabsnichtenglisch/bassui-tokusho-the-letters?tmpl=%2Fsystem%2Fapp%2Ftemplates%2Fprint%2F&showPrintDialog=1)

Shinran taught that Amida is a upaya-symbol for the one Dharmakaya, rather than a literal flesh and blood Buddha. This can be found in The Essential Shinran by Alfred Bloom:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9729498-the-essential-shinran (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9729498-the-essential-shinran)
Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: zafrogzen on November 22, 2018, 02:28:45 pm
DF,

Bassui didn't realize the "One Mind" through "other power" but through his own prolonged practice of zazen.

How about you? Quotes from other sources are OK as far as they go, but they're like someone else's regurgitated leftovers. Eventually it comes down to one's own practice (if any). That's what I wonder about. What are your personal experiences with pure land or zen practice?
Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: zafrogzen on November 22, 2018, 04:00:53 pm
"Mind" here sounds rather like Atman/Brahman, or perhaps the Tao?  Is that the idea?

I don’t think that’s “the idea,” but the Mahayana notion of “Mind” is obviously similar. Bassui goes a little bit far towards eternalism while some Theravada teachings sound nihilistic.

To me it looks like anatta or anatman in Mahayana means no individual self or mind, separate from everything else. As for “everything else” -- we’re talking about a subjective realm where labels and concepts are inadequate and misleading.

Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: Dharma Flower on November 25, 2018, 06:34:33 pm
In his Kyogyoshinsho, Shinran quoted Shandao as saying "There is no Buddha apart from the mind." Please compare this to the following words of Rinzai Master Bassui Tokusho:

Quote
This Mind, like space, is all-embracing. It does not come into existence with the creation of our body, nor does it perish with its disintegration. Though invisible, it suffuses our body, and every single act of seeing, hearing, smelling, speaking, or moving the hands and legs is simply the activity of this Mind.

"Mind" here sounds rather like Atman/Brahman, or perhaps the Tao?  Is that the idea?

When you read Zen literature, their descriptions of Buddha-nature and the Dharmakaya might sound like Taoism or Hinduism, but it's based on Mahayana scriptures like the Lankavatara Sutra:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La%E1%B9%85k%C4%81vat%C4%81ra_S%C5%ABtra

The most popular sutra in East Asian Buddhism that serves as the basis of belief in Buddha-nature and the Dharmakaya is the Lotus Sutra. If you'd like, I can explain how the Lotus Sutra relates to these concepts.

I would not be surprised if, ultimately, Mahayana Buddhism, Taoism and Hinduism are describing the same Ultimate Truth in different ways:

Quote
The Brahman of the Hindus, like the Dharmakaya of the Buddhists, and the Tao of the Taoists, can be seen, perhaps, as the ultimate unified field, from which spring not only the phenomena studied in physics, but all other phenomena as well.

In the Eastern view, the reality underlying all phenomena is beyond all forms (e.g. beyond a god) and defies all description and specification.

It is, therefore, often said to be formless, empty, or void. But this emptiness is not to be taken for mere nothingness. It is, on the contrary, the essence of all forms and the source of all life."
- Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics
https://books.google.com/books?id=H0pwCjzBW18C&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false
Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: Dharma Flower on November 25, 2018, 06:44:07 pm
Anytime concepts and words are applied to something beyond concepts and words there are bound to be misunderstandings.

Didn't he already address this?

Quote
Everyone who has realized this Mind, attaining to Buddhahood, wants to make it known to mankind. But men, clinging stupidly to superficial forms, find it hard to believe in this purposeless Dharma-kaya, this pure, true Buddha.

To give it a name Buddhas resort to such metaphors as...
https://sites.google.com/site/esabsnichtenglisch/bassui-tokusho-the-letters?tmpl=%2Fsystem%2Fapp%2Ftemplates%2Fprint%2F&showPrintDialog=1


What he's saying here is that, out of compassion and skillful means, the Buddha explains a reality beyond words and concepts using metaphors and symbols, to make that reality accessible to unenlightened beings like ourselves. 

The second chapter of the Lotus Sutra explains this fully:
https://rk-world.org/publications/lotussutra_B2.html

There are instances of the Buddha using upaya or skillful means in the Pali canon as well, but it's fully explained in the Lotus Sutra.
Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: Dharma Flower on November 25, 2018, 06:48:53 pm
Interesting. I think that our 'Original-nature' is there and has always been since we evolved consciousness. We lose it as the process of internalising the prevailing cultural definitions of reality takes over. It is still there, but needs the hard work that zafrogzen spoke about to bring it to the fore. Merely knowing that it's somewhere buried in our minds isn't enough.

Mahayana Buddhism teaches that all sentient beings, regardless of their level of consciousness, have Buddha-nature. Dogen went as far as to say that all beings are Buddha-nature.
Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: Dharma Flower on November 25, 2018, 06:51:55 pm
Bassui didn't realize the "One Mind" through "other power" but through his own prolonged practice of zazen.

In the teaching of Shinran, the One Mind and the Other-Power are one and the same. The image of Amida Buddha and the recitation of his name are a form of skillful means for awakening us to the outworking of the One Mind in our lives. I can explain this in more detail, if necessary.
Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: Dairy Lama on November 26, 2018, 04:36:34 am
To me it looks like anatta or anatman in Mahayana means no individual self or mind, separate from everything else. As for “everything else” -- we’re talking about a subjective realm where labels and concepts are inadequate and misleading.

The ideas being presented here appear to conflict with the Mahayana teachings on sunyata, which negates ultimates, absolutes and "grounds of being".
Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: Dharma Flower on November 26, 2018, 12:50:41 pm
To me it looks like anatta or anatman in Mahayana means no individual self or mind, separate from everything else. As for “everything else” -- we’re talking about a subjective realm where labels and concepts are inadequate and misleading.

The ideas being presented here appear to conflict with the Mahayana teachings on sunyata, which negates ultimates, absolutes and "grounds of being".

It appears that you are taking an extreme approach to Madhyamika philosophy, and applying it to all Mahayana Buddhism. Please look into how Yogacara philosophy has been a counterbalancing influence in the history of Mahayana thought. Please also look into the Tathagatagarbha sutras.
Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: zafrogzen on November 26, 2018, 01:48:25 pm
To me it looks like anatta or anatman in Mahayana means no individual self or mind, separate from everything else. As for “everything else” -- we’re talking about a subjective realm where labels and concepts are inadequate and misleading.

The ideas being presented here appear to conflict with the Mahayana teachings on sunyata, which negates ultimates, absolutes and "grounds of being".

That was my point -- that latching onto an image or concept, be it "One Mind" or "Amitabha," and imagining that one has figured it all out is to close the door on real experience.

I equate sunyata with meditative samadhi which I see as a distinct mental posture which leads to insight into reality -- as in samatha/vipassana. That insight is a direct experience which is lost as soon as one attempts to express it conceptually. That doesn't mean that there are not myriad ramifications of such an experience which can be expressed and are of great benefit.

Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: Dharma Flower on November 27, 2018, 01:43:17 am
To me it looks like anatta or anatman in Mahayana means no individual self or mind, separate from everything else. As for “everything else” -- we’re talking about a subjective realm where labels and concepts are inadequate and misleading.


The ideas being presented here appear to conflict with the Mahayana teachings on sunyata, which negates ultimates, absolutes and "grounds of being".


If you haven't read Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations, I highly recommend it:
http://www.khamkoo.com/uploads/9/0/0/4/9004485/mahayana_buddhism_-_the_doctrinal_foundations_second_edition.pdf (http://www.khamkoo.com/uploads/9/0/0/4/9004485/mahayana_buddhism_-_the_doctrinal_foundations_second_edition.pdf)

Please don't just take whatever forum posters say at face value.
Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: Dairy Lama on November 27, 2018, 04:00:42 am
The ideas being presented here appear to conflict with the Mahayana teachings on sunyata, which negates ultimates, absolutes and "grounds of being".


If you haven't read Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations, I highly recommend it:
[url]http://www.khamkoo.com/uploads/9/0/0/4/9004485/mahayana_buddhism_-_the_doctrinal_foundations_second_edition.pdf[/url] ([url]http://www.khamkoo.com/uploads/9/0/0/4/9004485/mahayana_buddhism_-_the_doctrinal_foundations_second_edition.pdf[/url])

Please don't just take whatever forum posters say at face value.


Good advice, and you can support pretty much any position with some judicious quote-mining.  Though of course you are a poster too.  :teehee:

A couple of interesting comments from the Wiki article on Sunyata:

According to Matsumoto Shiro and Hakamaya Noriaki, the idea of an ontological reality of the Buddha-nature is an un-Buddhist idea:[68] Their "Critical Buddhism" approach rejects what it calls "dhatu-vada" (substantialist Buddha nature doctrines)

Buddhism is based on the principles of no-self and causation, which deny any substance underlying the phenomenal world. The idea of tathagata-garbha, on the contrary, posits a substance (namely, tathagata-garbha) as the basis of the phenomenal world. [Matsumoto Shiro] asserts that dhatu-vada is the object that the Buddha criticized in founding Buddhism, and that Buddhism is nothing but unceasing critical activity against any form of dhatu-vada.[70]

The critical Buddhism approach has, in turn, recently been characterised as operating with a restricted definition of Buddhism. Paul Williams comments:

At least some ways of understanding the tathagatagarbha contravene the teachings of not-Self, or the Madhyamika idea of emptiness. And these ways of understanding the tathagatagarbha were and are widespread in Mahāyāna Buddhism. Yet by their own self-definition they are Buddhist.[71]


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%9A%C5%ABnyat%C4%81 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%9A%C5%ABnyat%C4%81)
Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: Dairy Lama on November 27, 2018, 04:04:24 am
That was my point -- that latching onto an image or concept, be it "One Mind" or "Amitabha," and imagining that one has figured it all out is to close the door on real experience.

Religion does seem very much concerned with latching on to explanations for "spiritual" experiences, creating an ontological framework for subjective insights.   
Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: stillpointdancer on November 27, 2018, 04:46:11 am
That was my point -- that latching onto an image or concept, be it "One Mind" or "Amitabha," and imagining that one has figured it all out is to close the door on real experience.

Religion does seem very much concerned with latching on to explanations for "spiritual" experiences, creating an ontological framework for subjective insights.
Yes, most religions that survived did so because they could impose their explanation on what is fundamentally an individual experience. Most then made sure that people followed their explanation, without the need for individuals to go through the experience themselves. "We did it for you so you don't have to" or "It's not possible for ordinary people to go through such an experience" or "Not possible in this lifetime" or some such phrase. The social cohesion arising from such a strategy enabled those societies to be more successful.
Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: paracelsus on November 27, 2018, 05:45:42 pm
Ice is water, but we can't drink ice without its condition changing.

To quote Hui-neng (again):

"If your nature is deluded,
Buddha-hood is Ordinary being.
If your nature is enlightened,
Ordinary being is Buddha-hood."

In this equation there is neither loss nor gain, no intercedence from a "higher power", no addition and no remainder.

So how does Amida Butsu effect the miracle of saving sentient beings? I don't know but:

Perhaps it helps the ordinary being to relax and drop its determination to achieve salvation "for itself", which by definition risks an assertion of "self". Open-ness to faith in "Other Power" may help some beings to allow their self obsession to fade and lose dominance, thus allowing self and other to merge, as it were.

The Buddha urged us, due to the inevitability of suffering in Samsara, to "seek your own salvation, with diligence".
Amida's promise is that since all samsara is impermanent, so too is suffering. It is by the dropping away of the conditions that bring about suffering that we achieve our liberation. Giving up the Lordship of "Self Power" to integration with "Other Power" may for some be just the way to do it. For others it may not.

Happy practice to all.



Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: zafrogzen on November 28, 2018, 11:28:37 am
I have to confess that the concept of "One Mind" comes closest to capturing my own rather limited meditative insights. It's probably a case of whatever form is thought of appearing in that very form.

The "One Mind" is not exactly a noun but more like a verb, since it actively produces all forms. It's the form in "form is emptiness, emptiness is form." Although it is empty, it's the source of everything, similar to the way one can have an apparently real experience while dreaming -- except that the One Mind is beyond concepts like individual or collective. Since it is also a concept itself, it's just an inadequate word pointing to something that cannot be grasped conceptually. Better to leave some things unspoken.

Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: Dairy Lama on November 29, 2018, 02:33:37 am
The "One Mind" is not exactly a noun but more like a verb, since it actively produces all forms. It's the form in "form is emptiness, emptiness is form." Although it is empty, it's the source of everything, similar to the way one can have an apparently real experience while dreaming -- except that the One Mind is beyond concepts like individual or collective. Since it is also a concept itself, it's just an inadequate word pointing to something that cannot be grasped conceptually. Better to leave some things unspoken.

So you think of "One Mind" like a "ground of being", the source of all things? 

As for "form is emptiness, emptiness is form", I understand it to mean that form is conditional ( empty ), and that conditionality ( emptiness ) is only expressed as form and the other aggregates - so emptiness is just a quality of the aggregates, and not a metaphysical "thing". ( see teachings on "emptiness of emptiness" ).
Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: stillpointdancer on November 29, 2018, 11:45:29 am
I have to confess that the concept of "One Mind" comes closest to capturing my own rather limited meditative insights. It's probably a case of whatever form is thought of appearing in that very form.

The "One Mind" is not exactly a noun but more like a verb, since it actively produces all forms. It's the form in "form is emptiness, emptiness is form." Although it is empty, it's the source of everything, similar to the way one can have an apparently real experience while dreaming -- except that the One Mind is beyond concepts like individual or collective. Since it is also a concept itself, it's just an inadequate word pointing to something that cannot be grasped conceptually. Better to leave some things unspoken.

I think it's an adjective, a desperate attempt to describe what one goes through during insight experiences when oneness is experienced. Personally I think that language breaks down when attempting to recreate what happened afterwards, which is why many leave such things unspoken. Not that I agree with them.
Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: Chaz on November 30, 2018, 12:11:57 pm
I have to confess that the concept of "One Mind" comes closest to capturing my own rather limited meditative insights. It's probably a case of whatever form is thought of appearing in that very form.

The "One Mind" is not exactly a noun but more like a verb, since it actively produces all forms. It's the form in "form is emptiness, emptiness is form." Although it is empty, it's the source of everything, similar to the way one can have an apparently real experience while dreaming -- except that the One Mind is beyond concepts like individual or collective. Since it is also a concept itself, it's just an inadequate word pointing to something that cannot be grasped conceptually. Better to leave some things unspoken.

 :jinsyx:

But does it actively produce form or is it the merely(?) the basis of everything and other forces (karma?) produce form from that basis and form retains the one mind's essential emptiness with all other considerations mere appearance and illusion?
Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: zafrogzen on November 30, 2018, 12:15:54 pm
So you think of "One Mind" like a "ground of being", the source of all things?
I used to, but now I don't think about it much unless I'm trying to put it into words. When my meditations are strong I see it clearly, even if only momentarily, but the peace and happiness lingers.

This morning everything was crisp and fresh after an overnight rain.

Conditioned or unconditioned, samasara or nirvana. You can't have one without the other. Those are just more dead words. It's what you see before you right in this moment.


Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: zafrogzen on November 30, 2018, 01:33:50 pm
I have to confess that the concept of "One Mind" comes closest to capturing my own rather limited meditative insights. It's probably a case of whatever form is thought of appearing in that very form.

The "One Mind" is not exactly a noun but more like a verb, since it actively produces all forms. It's the form in "form is emptiness, emptiness is form." Although it is empty, it's the source of everything, similar to the way one can have an apparently real experience while dreaming -- except that the One Mind is beyond concepts like individual or collective. Since it is also a concept itself, it's just an inadequate word pointing to something that cannot be grasped conceptually. Better to leave some things unspoken.

 :jinsyx:

But does it actively produce form or is it the merely(?) the basis of everything and other forces (karma?) produce form from that basis and form retains the one mind's essential emptiness with all other considerations mere appearance and illusion?

I don’t know. It could “actively produce form” in line with causes and conditions (karma?) while still being empty and essentially illusory.
Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: zafrogzen on December 14, 2018, 12:30:44 pm
Bassui didn't realize the "One Mind" through "other power" but through his own prolonged practice of zazen.

In the teaching of Shinran, the One Mind and the Other-Power are one and the same. The image of Amida Buddha and the recitation of his name are a form of skillful means for awakening us to the outworking of the One Mind in our lives. I can explain this in more detail, if necessary.

Earlier DF posted the quote below on this thread, where Japanese Zen Master Bassui mentions Amitabha.

Quote
Shinran Shonin would agree with the following words of Master Bassui Tokusho:

"To give it a name Buddhas resort to such metaphors as “Treasure Gem of Free Will,” “Great Path,” “Amitabha Buddha,’” “Buddha of Supreme Knowledge,” “Jizo,” “Kannon,” “Fugen,” “One’s Face before one’s parents were born.” The Bodhisattva Jizo is the guide through the Six Realms of Existence, he being the symbol of the power which controls the six senses."

Shinran taught that Amida is a upaya-symbol for the one Dharmakaya, rather than a literal flesh and blood Buddha.

However, that quote is followed by these words of Bassui --

Quote
But just as one must progress from shallow to deep by degrees, so is it a blessing for beginners, either deluded or obtuse, to recite sutras enthusiastically or to invoke the names of Buddhas. Fot them it is like getting on a raft or boat as a first step. But if they do not yearn to reach the shore of realization, contenting themselves to remain forever on the raft, they only deceive themselves. Shakyamuni Buddha underwent many austerities yet failed to attain Buddhahood. After this he did zazen for six years, giving up everything else, and at last realized this One-mind.

The One Mind is intrinsically bright and unblemished, in it there is no distinction of Buddha and sentient beings. But its clarity is hidden by delusive thoughts just as the light of the sun or moon is obscured by clouds. Yet such thoughts can be dispelled by the power of practicing zazen, the same way that clouds can be dissipated by a blast of wind. Once they vanish, the Buddha Nature reveals itself, just as the moon makes its appearance when clouds disappear.

Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: Pixie on December 15, 2018, 02:51:18 am
Quote from: Zafrogzen
The One Mind is intrinsically bright and unblemished, in it there is no distinction of Buddha and sentient beings. But its clarity is hidden by delusive thoughts just as the light of the sun or moon is obscured by clouds.



I am reminded of the following:


Luminous :Pabhassara Suttas  (AN 1:50–53)


“Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is defiled by incoming defilements.”

“Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements.”

“Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is defiled by incoming defilements. The uninstructed run-of-the-mill person doesn’t discern that as it has come to be, which is why I tell you that—for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person—there is no development of the mind.”

“Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements. The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns that as it has come to be, which is why I tell you that—for the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones—there is development of the mind.”

https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/AN/AN1_50.html (https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/AN/AN1_50.html)



_/|\_
Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: paracelsus on December 18, 2018, 07:49:34 pm

The statement: “There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind” prompts the question:
Is there Mind apart from Buddha?
If so, “Mind Only” has to be a false assertion.
If not, the original statement stands.

Then why is my mind so apart from Buddha Mind? (See Pixie's post)

People happily practicing their Nembutsu or their Zazen or whatever, I hope will find out one day, as they say: "in a flash!"

Whatever their practice is, it won’t matter in the least.
Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: zafrogzen on December 18, 2018, 10:14:53 pm

Whatever their practice is, it won’t matter in the least.

That hasn’t been my experience at all. In fact, without meditation practice there is no realization -- or even flash experiences of insight. One will forever feel apart.

Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: paracelsus on December 19, 2018, 05:34:59 pm

Whatever their practice is, it won’t matter in the least.

That hasn’t been my experience at all. In fact, without meditation practice there is no realization -- or even flash experiences of insight. One will forever feel apart.

I was comparing Pure Land with Zen as paths and saying it wouldn't matter which when one experiences realisation. Although the two practices differ the results are reportedly the same. (I’m playing an ambassador for peace here, since there seems to be some competitive animosity between posters of Zen and Pure Land comments.) If they’re not the same, one of them can’t be “right”

There’s a saying, (if we can take a "saint" to be an enlightened mind):  “If two philosophers agree, one of them isn’t a philosopher. If two saints disagree, one of them is not a saint”.

As for no realisation without meditation, I’m not so sure. The issue may be whether one recognises the experience and can make good of it. I think therefore instruction on the subject and meditation practice is necessary to understand and integrate realisation to avoid it simply becoming lost or subsumed.  There are examples I’ve read of enlightened experience/understanding in untrained people (and I’ve been scrabbling around trying to rediscover some, without success, but there is a Japanese word for them).

And "my mind being apart from Buddha Mind" is really a statement about the reality (for myself) of being in a different “state” post meditation when, as Pixie's quote suggests: “incoming defilements” transform or refract the pure luminosity of mind.

Recognition of this refraction allows the vision of the world to be like “… a bubble, a phantasm, a magic show”. The uninstructed or non meditator will be oblivious of this, having no other experience to compare normal experience with, ...

Perhaps.
Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: zafrogzen on December 20, 2018, 11:01:39 am

Whatever their practice is, it won’t matter in the least.

That hasn’t been my experience at all. In fact, without meditation practice there is no realization -- or even flash experiences of insight. One will forever feel apart.

I was comparing Pure Land with Zen as paths and saying it wouldn't matter which when one experiences realisation. Although the two practices differ the results are reportedly the same. (I’m playing an ambassador for peace here, since there seems to be some competitive animosity between posters of Zen and Pure Land comments.) If they’re not the same, one of them can’t be “right”

There’s a saying, (if we can take a "saint" to be an enlightened mind):  “If two philosophers agree, one of them isn’t a philosopher. If two saints disagree, one of them is not a saint”.

As for no realisation without meditation, I’m not so sure. The issue may be whether one recognises the experience and can make good of it. I think therefore instruction on the subject and meditation practice is necessary to understand and integrate realisation to avoid it simply becoming lost or subsumed.  There are examples I’ve read of enlightened experience/understanding in untrained people (and I’ve been scrabbling around trying to rediscover some, without success, but there is a Japanese word for them).

And "my mind being apart from Buddha Mind" is really a statement about the reality (for myself) of being in a different “state” post meditation when, as Pixie's quote suggests: “incoming defilements” transform or refract the pure luminosity of mind.

Recognition of this refraction allows the vision of the world to be like “… a bubble, a phantasm, a magic show”. The uninstructed or non meditator will be oblivious of this, having no other experience to compare normal experience with, ...

Perhaps.

I think it’s great that Buddhism has such a variety of practices, but they are sometimes confused with one another. Japanese Zen Buddhism and Pure land Buddhism are very different practices and are even somewhat competitive in Japan, where Pure Land has more adherents than zen. Zen emphasizes vigorous sitting meditation and samadhi, while Pure Land practice is primarily the reciting (nembutsu) of the name of Amitabha Buddha over and over, either out-loud or silently. Whether the results are the same is beside the point – different practices will appeal to different people.

As for realization without meditation -- I was speaking of my own practice, where the deep connection between meditation and awakening is very clear to me. I think anyone who sincerely practices sitting meditation will, over time, recognize that connection. However, I don’t see such a difference, or break, “post meditation.” Samadhi and realization are just as likely off the cushion, but are still the result of time spent practicing.

I agree that random enlightening experiences without training are real, but they are more haphazard and not so easily replicated.

Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: zafrogzen on December 20, 2018, 01:22:48 pm
Of course the fact they are different practices doesn't preclude combining them -- as in this from Wikipedia on mixing Pure Land practice and sitting meditation --

Quote
In Chinese Buddhism, there is a related practice called the "dual path of Chan and Pure Land cultivation", which is also called the "dual path of emptiness and existence." As taught by Nan Huai-Chin, the name of Amitābha is recited slowly, and the mind is emptied out after each repetition. When idle thoughts arise, the name is repeated again to clear them. With constant practice, the mind is able to remain peacefully in emptiness, culminating in the attainment of samādh

The above practice could also be combined with anapanasatti, or awareness of breathing, by repeating the name of Amitabha with an extended outbreath.

Just a thought.

Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: Chaz on January 01, 2019, 04:05:17 pm
Quote
I split of the last chunk of posts to a new topic in Pure Land
Title: Re: There is No Buddha Apart from the Mind
Post by: Dharma Flower on January 05, 2019, 10:45:13 pm
In the thought of Shinran, Amida Buddha is the Dharmakaya itself and the Pure Land is the realm of Nirvana, and both are aspects of the same ultimate truth:

Quote
Simply stated, the Buddha and the Pure Land are, in themselves, the Truth itself. The Buddha is the personal expression of the Truth and, the Pure Land, its impersonal or environmental expression. The personal aspect is again of two phases, negative and positive, or unmanifested and manifested. The unmanifested, formless and personal embodiment of the Truth is ‘Dharma-body’ (dharmakaya), and the manifested embodiment is the ‘Recompensed or Reward Body’ (sambhogakaya; also known as the ‘Enjoyment Body’) and the ‘Transformed Body’ (nirmanakaya). As the Buddha is thus distinguished, so is the Buddha’s Pure Land. The essential characteristic of the Pure Land is Dharma-nature itself (the Land of Dharma-nature), but it is often described in the sutras as a land glorified with various meritorious adornments. This phenomenal aspect of the Pure Land is, in reality, the manifested emodiment of Dharma-nature. We call this aspect of the Pure Land the ‘Rewarded or Recompensed Land’. Again, we have the secondary manifestation of the Land from Dharma-nature called the ‘Transformed Land’ corresponding to the Transformed Buddha.

This is the common division of the Buddha and the Pure Land in Mahayana Buddhism. T’an-luan’s theory of the Two-fold Dharma Body, which appears in his commentary on Vasubandhu’s Discourse on the Pure Land, may add more light on the subject. He states:

Buddhas and Bodhisattvas possess two kinds of Dharma Body: one is a Dharma Body of Dharma-nature and the other is a Dharma Body of Expediency. Depending on the Dharma Body of Dharma-nature, the Dharma Body of Expediency is manifested. Depending on the Dharma Body of Expediency, the Dharma Body of Dharma-nature is revealed. These two Dharma Bodies are different but inseparable, one but distinguishable. (cf. CWS. I, 165)
According to this exposition, the Dharma Body which the Buddhas and the enlightened Bodhisattvas attain has both manifested and unmanifested aspects. Similarly, Tao-cho (562-645), the Fourth Patriarch of Shin Buddhism, distinguished the Pure Land into two: Land with Phenomenal Aspect and Land without Phenomenal Aspect.


As shown above, the Buddha’s Pure Land is the same as Thusness or Dharma-nature in essence. But the dynamic aspect of its existence as the sphere of the Buddha’s activity is of greater significance for us. Because the Pure Land is a transcendental realm standing aloof from all relative, empirical limitations, and delusory discriminations, it is described as ‘inconceivable’. It is beyond the reach of human conception and practice, and it almost appears as a ‘utopia’ far removed from our actual world of experience. From the Buddha’s side, however, the Pure Land is the sphere of His pure activity - the natural and spontaneous activity flowing out from the Supreme Wisdom of Enlightenment.
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